Wealth Taxes

Discussion in 'Taxes and Accounting' started by dealmaker, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. dealmaker


    Wealth Taxes

    The New York Times has an interesting piece on how, while it wasn't true a decade ago (when Warren Buffett claimed as much) that the wealthy pay a lower tax rate than the middle class, it is true now. In fact, last year was the first on record in which the 400 wealthiest Americans paid a lower total tax rate than any other income group. NYT
  2. The 400 wealthiest Americans of course pay exponentially more tax than any other income group, even if the tax rate is lower.

    Even if the 400 wealthiest Americans paid effectively zero tax, they would contribute far more to society than any other income group.

    Example: Let's say the founders of Google and any other search engine out there had never paid a dime in tax. They would still have made an extreme contribution to society far outweighing what they have earned (> 1,000 times more).
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
    Wheezooo and gkishot like this.
  3. gkishot


    As of today people don't report their personal wealth to the IRS. Hopefully they will never be compelled to do it. Not sure where NYT got its information from.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  4. DaveV


    The article explained right up front where the data came from -
    The data here come from the most important book on government policy that I’ve read in a long time — called “The Triumph of Injustice,” to be released next week. The authors are Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman, both professors at the University of California, Berkeley, who have done pathbreaking work on taxes. Saez has won the award that goes to the top academic economist under age 40, and Zucman was recently profiled on the cover of Bloomberg BusinessWeek magazine as “the wealth detective.”
  5. Wheezooo


    "both professors at the University of California, Berkeley,"

    Economists, and from Berkeley. Two reasons to file something in the garbage.
    Banjo likes this.
  6. piezoe


    while individual personal income tax returns are not publicly available, extensive agregate tax return data is readily available. Also, and this I could be quite incorrect about, I believe certain categories of tax returns are publicly available once they has been officially accepted by the IRS. This might include certain types of "non-profit" organizations. We need an IRS employee to weigh in.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  7. piezoe


    This is one of those areas of discussion where it is possible to furnish any particular piece of mis-information desired depending on which apple you choose to compare with which orange. The first step in getting useful information is simply to distinguish between gross income, taxable income. and net income after taxes. For clarity, the word "income" should always be accompanied by an adjective unless the adjective is clear from context -- it often isn't. In addition, the tax rate paid should be carefully defined beyond percent. In other words what's in the numerator and what's in the denominator should be carefully and unequivocally defined when reporting any rate calculated as percent. Percent values are dimensionless, so any information that might have been present as to what specific figures were used in the calculation is lost when only a ratio multiplied by 100 is reported.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
  8. smallfil


    Don't you ever notice that nobody talks about tax loopholes? Very rarely, is it even talked about if at all! Yet, the filthy rich extreme liberal billionaires are the biggest abusers of tax loopholes. Anyone remember the Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton debate in 2016? Hillary Clinton claimed Donald Trump used tax loopholes. To which, Donald Trump said Hillary's friends had more tax loopholes! So much, for that BS remark of Warren Buffett wanting to pay more taxes?
  9. Turveyd


    As long as there not sponging benefits off the state then that's better than most people.
    gkishot likes this.
  10. gkishot


    Tax return reports income not wealth. High earners are not the same as wealthy people. And I doubt high earners pay less in taxes than low income people. And if a wealthy & retired person does not earn much and lives off his savings it's nobody's business. He already paid his fair share in taxes while accumulating wealth. I am sure they have in mind "wealth" for wealthy people (probably by deriving it from property tax while ignoring their "income") and "income" for poor people. And that's a fallacy.
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2019
    #10     Oct 7, 2019